Actor Alec Baldwin appears in court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 23, 2019. Picture: Alex Tabak/Pool via REUTERS
Actor Alec Baldwin appears in court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 23, 2019. Picture: Alex Tabak/Pool via REUTERS

'Rust' crew member suing Alec Baldwin and others for negligence

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Nov 11, 2021

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A “Rust” crew member, chief electrician Serge Svetnoy, is suing Alec Baldwin and others for negligence, following the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on the movie's set on October 21st in New Mexico.

Chief electrician Serge Svetnoy has claimed he is suffering "severe emotional distress" following the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on the movie's set on October 21st in New Mexico when lead actor Alec accidentally shot and killed her while firing a prop gun during a rehearsal.

Serge has filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles, and in doing so has become the first member of the motion picture's crew to take legal action against production company Rust Movie Productions LLC.

Speaking at a Beverly Hills news conference on Wednesday, the gaffer - who cradled Halyna in his arms as she lay dying following the incident - said: "I still cannot believe that she is not longer with us.

"What a tragedy and injustice when a person loses her life on film set while making art."

Serge - who had known Halyna for more than five years - is also suing armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, first assistant director Dave Halls, property master Sarah Zachry and weapons provider Seth Kenney.

In court documents obtained by “Entertainment Tonight”, it is also alleged that the scene being rehearsed at the time "did not call for Defendant Baldwin to shoot the Colt Revolver".

The electrician claims the bullet "narrowly missed" him during the incident, in which director Joel Souza was also injured.

The docs read: "The bullet narrowly missed him before striking the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and its director, Joel Souza.

"Plaintiff suffered injury, including severe emotional distress, as a direct and proximate result of this incident."

Gaffer Serge claims in the documents that he included Alec in the lawsuit because he "owed a duty to the Plaintiff and other crew members and actors on the 'Rust' set to handle the Colt Revolver provided to him by defendant Halls with reasonable care and diligence for the safety of 'Rust' cast and crew.

"This duty called for Defendant Baldwin to double-check the Colt Revolver with Halls upon being handled to ensure that it did not contain live ammunition.

"This duty further called for him [Baldwin] to handle the Colt Revolver as if it was loaded and to refrain from pointing it at anyone."

Lawyers for armourer Hannah - who was in charge of guns on set - have claimed she is being "framed".

They said in a statement: "We eagerly await the FBI's investigation of all the facts including the live rounds themselves, how they ended up in the 'dummies box' and who put them there.

"We are convinced that this was sabotage and Hannah is being framed. We believe that the scene was tampered with as well before the police arrived."

Alec recently described the cinematographer as his "friend" - but explained that he couldn't reveal too much about what happened.

He said: "She was my friend.

"The day I arrived in Santa Fe to start shooting I took her to dinner with Joel, the director. We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together, and then this horrible event happened. I've been told multiple times, 'Don't make any comments about the ongoing investigation.' I can't."

Last month, Serge - who, like Halyna, is from Ukraine - blamed "negligence and unprofessionalism" for the tragedy.

In a lengthy Facebook post, he wrote: "Yes, I knew Halyna, not for a year. I worked with Her on almost all of her films.

“Sometimes we've shared food and water. We've been burning under the sun, freezing in the snow on the shoots.

“We took care of each other. Yes, I can say with 100% confidence she was my friend. WAS!!!

"Yes, I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life and injured the director Joel Souza.

“I was holding her in my arms while she was dying.

“Her blood was on my hands. I want to tell my opinion on why this has happened. I think I have the right to do it."

"It's the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism. The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this; the person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it. And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT! (sic)"

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